Ever asked an SEO consultant how long it’s going to take to start seeing genuine results from your SEO efforts?
We bet they couldn’t give you a straight answer.
The consensus throughout the marketing industry is that most businesses should expect to start seeing improvements in positions within 3 to 6 months. But some won’t see tangible results for much longer, while others may be flying high in a matter of weeks.
This is part of how SEO works. Success in search depends on so many different factors that it’s virtually impossible for search engine optimisation specialists like us to give accurate timelines for any organic approach.
What we can do, however, is explain the key factors that are likely to influence the effectiveness of your SEO strategy and the speed at which your campaign develops.
Any of the five scenarios listed below will hamper your efforts, regardless of the industry you’re in or the amount of work you’ve placed into your campaign so far.
If you really want to make an impact in organic search, you need to spend time developing a website that appeals to both human users and search engine crawler bots alike.
As a general rule, a well-performing, technically sound website will be:
· Cleanly coded
If you make it easy for your developers to understand, amend and update your website’s code, Google will find it easier to digest, too. Easy reading means faster indexing - and that means better rankings!
· Quick to load
Google’s all about the UX. Sites with a load time of less than three seconds are considered to deliver a better user experience and will typically rank higher in organic search, while sites that take longer to render will often be penalised by the algorithm for frustrating their users.
· Fully responsive on mobile devices
More than half of searches are carried out using a mobile device, so it’s never been more important to ensure your platform works well on smartphones and tablets. By September 2020, Google will have rolled out mobile first indexing for all websites, so if your website isn’t mobile responsive your ranking potential will be limited.
· Encrypted with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
If you haven’t added an SSL certificate to your website, what are you waiting for? Security is a huge ranking signal, and Google has been favouring secure platforms since 2014 - so get it in place before you start missing out on great positions!
Address these four key points, and you should see a welcome boost to your rankings in the SERPs!
Poorly written content will have a severe impact on the success of your pages in search, not least because bad content will not keep users engaged and interacting with your site.
Your content will need revising if it’s:
Packed full of spelling and grammatical errors
Long-winded and difficult to understand
Stuffed full of keywords
Fast abandonment leads to high bounce rates, and high bounce rates signal to Google that your website isn’t bringing value to the search process. If its algorithm doesn’t believe your content is useful and of a good quality, it will not grant it good rankings – and in some cases, it will stop indexing it altogether.
Spotted some copy on a competitor’s website that you really like? Don’t be tempted to copy and paste it across to your own domain! Google frowns upon duplicate content and often penalises webmasters that have plagiarised somebody else’s work by delisting their pages from the search results completely.
You will also struggle if your content doesn’t match the search intent of the keyword you are trying to rank for. Google decides what it thinks a searcher is looking for when they make a search, and will deliver results based on that. If your content is vastly different to what Google is ranking, it’s unlikely it will reach the first page of results.
Link building is still a viable SEO technique. It’s a great way to improve your domain authority and boost your rankings – but proceed with caution if you want to help, not hinder, your SEO campaign.
Once upon a time, it was best practice to generate as many links as possible from as many different domains as you could find. Circa 2008, the more links you could secure – even if they were from irrelevant or questionable sources! – the better your rankings would be.
In 2020, however, we’re well and truly out of the Dark Ages of SEO.
Nowadays, it’s all about the quality of your connections.
If you’re arranging meaningful backlinks from web partners who are relevant to your niche, who are respected online and who have great followings of their own, you’ll soon see an uplift in positions, because these so-called ‘votes’ for your website will come from sources that Google can trust. But if you’re still trying to squeeze out every last drop of link juice from spammy forums, low quality blogs and comments sections on unregulated sites, your efforts will likely be in vain.
Be careful of the anchor text you’re using when generating links, too. It’s not natural for every single backlink to contain your biggest ‘money’ keyword! Add in mentions of your company name and URL instead to keep your link profile looking well-balanced and non-engineered.
Can you truly say you’re dedicating enough time to your campaign on a regular basis? Search moves quickly – so if you take your foot off the gas, you can expect your progress to slow. You need to stay active if you want to stay prominent.
To maintain and improve on your organic rankings, you need to constantly be monitoring the following:
As we mentioned earlier on, maintaining a clean, fast, secure and responsive website is vital. But most platforms will need updating and managing on a regular basis – especially if they’re built on an open source system like WordPress, which is changing and improving all the time.
Make sure you have a watertight maintenance plan in place and review your website from a technical perspective every few weeks.
When it comes to SEO, content is king. If you want to keep encouraging Google to reindex your pages, you need to be creating, publishing and sharing as much relevant content as possible.
You can distribute content in a range of ways. Most businesses benefit from blogging regularly, then sharing links to their latest pieces via social platforms, e-newsletters and other digital channels. Social signals are also important, so be sure to update your social accounts regularly if you want to stay front of mind where Google is concerned.
Ideally, you need to be creating fresh links to your domain and its pages regularly. But as we discussed earlier, quality rules over quantity where links are concerned – so focus on developing strong, genuine relationships with websites that are relevant to your field, and you won’t go wrong.
We’ve covered some of the major SEO factors here – but there’s so much more to a typical SEO campaign. Contact our Essex SEO team today to learn more about what’s involved in running a successful SEO strategy, and get a quote that’s been completely tailored to your company’s needs.
5. You’re not willing to invest in the process
As you’ve probably gathered by now, developing and running an effective SEO campaign is no mean feat. Google’s algorithms are evolving by the day, and it’s becoming harder to keep up with its ever-changing best practices – let alone find new and creative ways of capturing your audience’s interest when you do start achieving those coveted top positions.
To cover the sheer amount of work involved in improving your search presence, you need to set aside a healthy monthly budget for your SEO consultant or agency to work with – and you need to be prepared to stick with it.
It’s important to invest in your longer term SEO campaign – but if you’re looking for quicker wins, you may benefit from running a paid search campaign with Google. Contact the specialist Google Ads managers at Multi Layer Media to discuss your options!